Sunday, 2 October 2011

St Teresa's Penalty Poetry Shoot Out!

After hearing about the AFC Wimbledon kit in Zimbabwe, we were looking forward to having both Ms Bell and Mr Nygato at the Gillingham game but it seemed we should do our best to get some pupils from St Teresa’s themselves along as well. What we needed was a competition or a project that Year 5 and Year 6 children could get involved with where we could offer the opportunity to attend the match as a prize for two lucky winners. With little more than a week available we put on our thinking caps and came up with the idea of a poetry competition based around an AFC Wimbledon theme. A poetry competition with a slight twist!

Dominic, Gemma and Brendan with their poems
With Danny Kedwell retuning to the Cherry Red Fan’s Stadium to face Seb Brown and the team, our thoughts turned to the high drama of the penalty shoot out against Luton at Manchester last season. Remembering the feelings of excitement and emotion during the penalty shoot out we asked the youngsters to put themselves in the minds of one of two people: a goalkeeper facing up to a penalty or a penalty-taker psyching himself up before his run up. 

What were they thinking? Would they rather be somewhere else? Would they feel brave or slightly nervous….?  The poem they wrote would be entitled “It’s All Up To Me!”

The children wrote their poems from one or other of these two viewpoints and the best two – as voted on by a select panel of AFC Wimbledon season ticket holders – would be declared the winners and accompany their teachers on the day. A pretty decent prize we thought, apart from the bit about having to accompany their teachers, but then no prize is perfect…

A specially designed handout was distributed at St Teresa’s and the children had several days to get their thinking caps on and their rhyming dictionaries out. On the Friday morning the entries were collected and then began the exceptionally difficult task of trying to select the winners.

Rather than read them individually the panel had the poems read aloud to them several times for the best effect and then slowly refined their choices until only two winners remained. We had intended to nominate both a winner and a runner-up in each category but the quality of the poems made that impossible. We decided to nominate all the entries as runners up, which meant that they all received a framed certificate of achievement to be presented to them at a school assembly. We felt the children had all worked very hard on their poems and that their hard work and effort deserved suitable recognition. 

You can judge for yourself as we've reproduced the poems themselves below. Those poems from the keepers point of view have Seb as the background, those of the penalty taker have Danny. Enjoy!

 I was happy to receive an invitation to attend St Teresa's Friday morning achievement assembly and had the honour of presenting the participants with their framed AFC Wimbledon certificates. There were lots of smiles and photographs all round and I was made to feel very welcome so thanks to the pupils and staff at St Teresa's for such an enjoyable morning!

On Saturday the two winners, Gemma and Annalisa, joined us at the Gillingham game and one of the runners-up, Brendan, was also in the crowd. (If you can hear the announcer in the video you might just catch him calling out his name). At half time we all trooped onto the pitch for a formal presentation and a quick dip under the sprinkler, as you can see below.

We’ve very much enjoyed running the poetry competition and look forward to other projects with St Teresa’s. Who knows, with a bit of coaching maybe they can come up with a few new songs for the Tempest End?

Presentations to Mr Nygato and the Poetry Winners
1st October 2011 

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